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S&Ds: Breakthrough in Council means Migration Pact negotiations can finally begin

Date

09 Jun 2023

The S&D Group in the European Parliament welcome today’s breakthrough progress on the Migration and Asylum Pact.

After years of negotiations in the Council, the common position agreed by Justice and Home Affairs Ministers on the Asylum and Migration Management Regulation and the Asylum Procedures Regulation means that negotiations with the European Parliament can start on the majority of files in the Migration Pact.

The European Parliament agreed its positions on all the migration and asylum files, including the Crisis Regulation, in the plenary in April. A roadmap agreed by the co-legislators in 2022 commits to the adoption of the entire Asylum and Migration Pact by April 2024.

Birgit Sippel, S&D spokesperson on home affairs and rapporteur for the screening regulation, said:

“After years of stalemate and blockade, the majority of Member States have finally voted in favour of reforming the asylum system and procedures in the EU. We can finally start negotiating the bulk of the asylum reform. These will be difficult negotiations with limited time before the European elections. If the Member States are seriously interested in reform, they will now have to show a much greater willingness to compromise in the negotiations with the European Parliament.

“The S&D Group rejects compulsory fast-track procedures at the external borders and the Parliament has followed our view. Where Member States choose to apply fast-track procedures, families with children and unaccompanied minors must be exempt. The Council’s position on not exempting minors with families at all from the compulsory border procedure is not acceptable.

“Finally, the concrete commitments around responsibility sharing and solidarity are lagging behind Parliament’s ambitions. We need to see more willingness from Member States to show solidarity and a fair division of responsibilities as laid down in the EU treaties.”

Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Chair of the LIBE committee and rapporteur for the Crisis and Force Majeure Regulation, said:

“Today’s agreement in the Council shows that we have come a long way on reforming the EU’s migration and asylum rules, but there is still a long way to go. The Council is moving forward to reach a common position on reform but the agreement falls short when it comes to sharing responsibility fairly. This Migration Pact needs to result in meaningful solidarity between Member States. There is no alternative. Our mandate in Parliament was hard fought for and we are ready for negotiations with the Council. We are determined to use the momentum of today’s breakthrough to reach an agreement on long-term, sustainable solutions before the current legislative term comes to an end.

“The sooner we can also start negotiations on the Crisis Regulation the better. As stated in the joint Roadmap, it is essential that we reach an agreement on all files to reach an agreement on the Pact as a whole.”

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